• 21 July 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 4 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei

The Supreme Leader has ordered Ahmadinejad’s first deputy to resign from Ahmadinejad’s cabinet just days after his appointment, according to the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.

However, Ahmadinejad’s senior assistant says “the decision to appoint Mashaei will not be revisited,” according to BBC Persian.

Deputy Speaker Aboutorabi said, “eliminating Mashaei from key positions and the first deputy position is a strategic decision by the regime.  The Supreme Leader’s opinion about the removal of the Mr. Rahim Mashaei from the position of president’s first deputy has been submitted to the President in writing.”

“Without any delay, the dismissal order or Mashaei’s resignation must be announced by the President.”

That apparently did not stop Ahmadinejad’s senior assistant from saying on a live TV program that “I have not seen a clear and convincing reason given by anyone to make [Mashaei’s] appointment to the first deputy position impossible.  Some say he has made mistakes in some of his statements.  Well, everyone makes mistakes.”

Hardline conservatives have been angered by the pick of Mashaei, who said last year that “Iran is a friend of the nation in the United States and in Israel.”

Update: Ahmadinejad’s aid has retreated from his earlier statement, saying he was misinterpreted by the media, Raja News reports [Persian]. The aid says no personnel changes have been made, but that does not mean none will be made in the future.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    4 Responses to “Khamenei Fires Ahmadinejad’s Deputy; Ahmadinejad Aid Fights Back”

  1. Speaking of politics…
    Abraham Lincoln recently told all about his one on one basketball game with Ahmadinejad at…

    LINCOLN SAYS UNCOOL
    http://lincolnsaysuncool.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/lincoln-says-uncool-mahmoud-ahmadinejad/

  2. kevin says:

    Things in Iran just keep getting weirder and weirder.

  3. I wonder if this conflict over Rahim-Mashaie is a pretext for Ahmadinejad to resign. It’s a long shot, but it’s very odd for him to pick a fight with Khamenei right now.
    http://bit.ly/iJ41m

  4. Megan says:

    Mashaei and Ahmadinejad are related- they are two out-laws who are in-laws. The government in Iran is more like a drug cartel. They buy royalty by wedding one another.

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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